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Fave Memory Design Challenge: When I think back to childhood days at the beach I can almost taste the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches mixed with a bit of salty sea and a lot of wind blown sand. My dad would sit in his beach chair on the shore while my brother and I splashed in the waves for hours and hours. We joked that he was guarding our lunch, packed by mom, which almost always consisted of PB&J and orange juice in a thermos. We added the sand ourselves.
When I first met my husband, we were both working at a specialty grocer. He was a butcher, while I was working in the neighboring department as a cheesemonger. While food was always a big part of our relationship and our mutual love of cooking a common ground to build from, cheese and charcuterie boards were always held to a higher standard. Whenever any of our coworkers found out that we were dating, the first words out of their mouths were always “Awww meat and cheese, paired together just like a platter!” Whether it was our first grocery store shopping trip together to make a little snack plate for a date night in or the massive tabletop cheese board we created for the first Thanksgiving we hosted together, we’ve always tried to live up to our nickname. So it’s no surprise that when we got married two weeks ago, most of the gifts we received were centered around this theme. We were pretty thrilled to spend our honeymoon eating through the cooler full of cheeses and charcuterie we left our reception with!
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are simple and delicious. This was one of the first recipes that my mother showed me as a kid and one of the first recipes I shared with my own children.
My favorite memories of my childhood are of riding around on scooter and mopeds with my family in India. I was the youngest so I always got to ride standing up between my dad and the steering handle. My most favorite nights were those when my dad would come home from work and my parents would take us to eat street food. There is nothing like eating from a Lari(stall), specially when it comes to Pani Puri. Each puri is stuffed by a man behind the counter, not wearing gloves, and handing it over one by one. Puris are crunchy shells, that are stuffed with spicy black chana and potatoes. The stuffed puri is then dunked into pani, minty water. As you try to fit the whole puri in your mouth, some of the pani inevitably leaks out form your mouth. Eating a pani puri feels like a flavor explosion. It is truly a magical experience and worth taking the risk of eating from a street vendor.
Fave Food Memory: As kids we lived close enough to school that my sisters and I could walk home for lunch. My Dad would come home from work and make us grilled cheese sandwiches (and watch the Flinstones :). I would always save the biggest piece for last!
FAVE MEMORY: Gramma Helen called all closets “presses”....the linen press, the clothes press etc.
The kitchen had a cold press, a little room off the outside stairwell across from the kitchen. It was a cross between a pantry & a root cellar. It was so fresh & cool inside & a perfect place to hide on hot summer days. It ALWAYS had a bowl of fresh green grapes, never red! If we were good she’d get her kitchen shearers & snip off a bunch for us. Looking back, I recall fences of vines behind the old garage & wondering now if that’s where all the grapes came from😂
My mom made these many times when I was growing up. It was and is a favorite food of mine. Toasting the buttered bread in a skillet results in soft toast. Although there were 7 kids, we were not all eating at the same time because of our age differences. Still, Mom must have stood at the stove a very long time when we were hungry for a toasted tomato sandwich. One was never enough!
Fave Memory - It may be odd, but this is a very special recipe that I enjoy at most family gatherings but especially at Thanksgiving. A pre dinner dip - served with melba toast. Don't knock it til you try it! The rumor is the "spicy" title is not just for the ingredients but also the curmudgeonly family member it is named for ;)
Make something you want to eat, but will also be the envy of your cats. Berry Taiyaki! It's essentially a sweet berry pancake made in the shape of a fish. Taiyaki comes in many flavors, but who could possibly resist some refreshing berry blends? It's very simply to make, and taiyaki pans are easy to buy online or at your local Asian grocery market. (keep those furry kitchen helpers out of the way though, or you might be missing a few taiyaki!)